Quarterback Tyler Mazur passed for 261 yards and ran for another 83 to lead the Lawrence University football team to a 29-23 Midwest Conference win over Beloit College on Saturday at the Banta Bowl.
Mazur completed 18 of 40 passes for 261 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He ran 15 times for 83 yards and three touchdowns. Wide receiver Jeremiah Johnson had a career day for Lawrence (2-7, 2-6 MWC) with 10 catches for 150 yards and a touchdown.
Beloit quarterback Brian Maughn was 26 of 52 for 280 yards and two touchdowns, but he threw four interceptions.
Johnson and Mazur got the Vikings on the board late in the first quarter. The Bucs (4-5, 4-4) had stopped Lawrence and forced a punt, but a roughing the kicker penalty kept the drive alive and gave Lawrence a first down at its own 47. Mazur hit Johnson with a 49-yard pass on the next play to give Lawrence a first down at the Beloit 4.
The Vikings were then whistled for three consecutive penalties to move back to the Beloit 27. The teams were called for 31 combined penalties. Mazur found Mason Garcia across the middle to move the ball back to the Beloit 4. Johnson caught a 4-yard touchdown pass on the next play for a 6-0 Lawrence lead.
After Eric Follett recovered a Beloit fumble at the Bucs’ 36, Lawrence moved all the say to the Beloit 1 but had to settle for Cody Robel’s 19-yard field goal with 6:27 left in the first half.
In one of the more bizarre finishes to a half, Beloit benefitted from a call by the officials. Beloit, out of time outs, drove to the Lawrence 1 in the final seconds. Dillon Hess then fumbled but managed to recover. The Bucs lined up to spike the ball and stop the clock but ran out of time.
The officials then conferred and put one second back on the clock. The Bucs lined up and Mat Kahl kicked a 20-yard field goal to cut Lawrence’s lead to 9-3 at the half.
With Mazur at the controls, the Vikings dominated the third quarter.
Lawrence took the opening kickoff of the second half and drove 70 yards in seven plays for a touchdown. Mazur burst up the middle and ran the final 27 yards for the score, breaking tackles along the way, to give Lawrence a 15-3 lead.
Beloit’s next two drives were stopped on interceptions by Jeff Nichols and Luke Galle.
Lawrence then went 73 yards in 12 plays to go up 22-3. Mazur set up the score by hitting Johnson with a 43-yard pass to the Beloit 26. Three plays later, Mazur had an 11-yard run to give Lawrence a first down at the Beloit 6.
The Bucs stopped Lawrence and Robel lined up for a 24-yard field goal, which he missed. The Bucs were called for roughing the kicker again, and Mazur ran it in from 2 yards out four plays later for the touchdown.
The Vikings then put together along long scoring drive early in the fourth quarter. The Bucs had forced Lawrence to punt, but the Vikings put on the fake. Mazur hit Nichols with a 12-yard pass to the Beloit 48 to keep the drive alive.
Two plays later, Garcia caught a 28-yard pass from Mazur for a first down at the Beloit 2. Mazur ruan it in from a yard out two plays later to give Lawrence a 29-3 lead.
The Bucs battled back as Maughn connected with Derek Carrier for a 12-yard scoring pass with 8:23 left in the game to cut the lead to 29-9.
Sam Kossow, who had split quarterback duties with Mazur early in the game, came in and was intercepted by Tony Baratti, who returned it 17 yards for a touchdown with 5:40 left.
Galle stopped the next Beloit drive with his second interception of the game, but Lawrence was forced to punt. Beloit then moved 54 yards in five plays for another score. Maughn hit Carrier with a 7-yard scoring pass to cut the lead to 29-23 with 53 seconds left.
Galle recovered the on-sides kick and Lawrence ran out the clock to seal the win.
Lawrence wraps up its season next Saturday when it hosts Ripon College in a renewal of the oldest college football rivalry in the state of Wisconsin.